Jackson’s own Tony Yarber scored a victory last night in the mayoral election. He is Jackson, Mississippi’s newly elected mayor and the work starts now. Like Yarber, we must also hit the ground running. We each have a backed up list of things to do, places to go, and people to see. We are in debt to ourselves and we can not afford to raise our own debt ceiling. There are celebrations and tears of joy in Mississippi’s capital city and rightly so, but we must now expend more energy than ever before. I don’t know about my fellow Jacksonians, but I’ve turned my sights toward the entire state of Mississippi. However, my second, more cautious mind is saying, “Hol’ up Xavier, can we take care of Jackson first?” Most definitely, because taking care of Jackson is going to get the ball rolling. First, let’s develop “The People’s Plan of Action.” The first priority on that list is education.
Do you know how hard it is to find out how government works in Jackson? For a political science major or someone who’s worked his/her way in, I’m sure it’s not too hard. For a guy like me though, who paid no attention in my high school government class, it’s gonna take some doing. So, education is where we start.
It’s a shame that the Civil Rights movement hinged on enfranchisement and having equal rights to representation and resources in this country, but I don’t know much about the inner workings of Jackson’s government structure. You and I need more knowledge about how things work, no matter where we reside. Be it Omaha or Nanjing, we’ve got to know who’s in charge of what, how he/she got there, and what that person is supposed to be doing. Learning the history of our hometown would, ideally, be a great place to start, but that’s time that you and I really don’t have. The general public needs to know how Jackson works. If you’re in the know, the rest of us need to know just how work gets accomplished in City Hall. Share some knowledge would ya?
Older generations tend to be very involved in politics and for good reasons. Older people stand to either lose or gain a great number of perks depending on their involvement in government and politics. Younger folks often lack the foresight to think beyond the next decade and even fewer young adults see the need to think toward retirement. It should be obvious where direction and guidance should come from and it would behoove the Millennial generation to seek that wisdom.
In the Bible, there is a metaphor that personifies wisdom as a woman. Solomon writes, “Wisdom shouts in the street; in the public square she raises her voice. Above the noisy crowd, she calls out. At the entrance of the city gates, she has her say: ‘How long will you clueless people love your naïveté, mockers hold their mocking dear, and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:20-22, Common English Version). So let us understand how social security, life insurance, and many of these government assistance programs came to be. Let us learn how ideas and common desires become laws and ordinances from the people who helped to create the rules.
Thankfully, Tony Yarber has experience in many different leadership roles within our city’s government. Prayerfully he has the insight, support, and discernment that he needs to maneuver through the obstacles that stand between “what has always been” and “where we want to be.” Certainly, the rest of us twenty-some-odd thousand residents that made it to the polls will do our parts, even if it’s as small as writing the newly elected Mayor a letter about your personal vision for Jackson, MS or sharing some insight with your neighbor about what’s really going on in our city. “The People’s Plan of Action” starts today. Remember, ask not what your city can do for you, ask what you can for your city.